Economics

Optimization study in hydrocracker unit using simulation model

Hydrocrackers are key refinery units that convert heavy feed components into valuable lighter products. The profitability of these units is directly related to this conversion level. Conversion reactions take place in a nearly pure hydrogen environment, with the help of selective catalysts, under high pressure and high temperature. The products of the unit are separated in the fractionator section. Unconverted oil taken from the fractionator bottoms reveals the conversion performance of the unit.

A new liquid-phase isomerization process for xylene loop debottleneck and energy savings

Mhatre, S., Warke, V., Reliance Industries Ltd.; Choi, A., Molinier, M., Saple, A., ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

In a typical xylene loop, C8 aromatics are fractionated out of a heavy reformate C8+ aromatics stream and collected in the xylene column overhead. Then, paraxylene (PX) from the C8 aromatics stream is recovered as product—usually by an adsorption or crystallization process—in the PX recovery section.

Can ammonia be a future energy storage solution?

Ammonia is well known as a fertilizer. However, it is also a potential carbon-free fuel and an excellent solution for storage of renewable electricity, especially if the syngas needed for producing the ammonia is made by electrolysis.

Surviving turbulent times requires deep management changes

Chevriere, J. P., Transmar Consult Inc.; Daily, A., Daily Thermetrics

The Stone Age did not end due to a stone shortage. The Conventional Oil Age was not eclipsed by vanishing traditional oil and gas resources. The Shale Revolution unleashed an era of abundant, new unconventional oil and gas supplies.

Digitalization: Maximize assets with a digital investment framework for oil and gas

Shong, F., Chung, W., Thapar, R., EY Oil and Gas, Ernst & Young LLP

Oil and gas investments are diversifying as the industry leans toward a more digitally conducive environment. Asset analysis was initially evaluated based on an asset’s technical parameters, pricing and operationality. In this new digital world, however, variables such as service quality, innovation, compliance, flexibility and scalability require quantification. Refinery data continues to be critical to evaluate investments, but is often incomplete.

Construction

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Total plans to take a final investment decision (FID) on the Nigeria LNG expansion project by the end of this year. If greenlighted, the 7-MMtpy LNG train would increase the Bonny Island LNG terminal’s capacity to nearly 30 MMtpy. If built, Train 7 is expected to be operational by 2023.

Editorial Comment: Honoring the industry’s best … take 2!

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Due to Tropical Storm Imelda, Hydrocarbon Processing issued its first force majeure in postponing the third annual HP Awards.

FCC catalyst deactivation studies to mimic refinery conditions for high-propylene applications

The fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) is a conversion unit located at the heart of many refineries. Its main purpose is to crack crude oil-derived feedstocks into valuable liquid products, primarily LPGs (propylene and butylenes), and gasoline and light-cycle oil (LCO) precursors. The process uses a fluidizable catalyst, comprising an alumina-silica framework and tailored for each refinery to meet its specific needs. Often, the changing of a catalyst includes catalyst testing evaluations, employed by about 50% of the FCCUs in the world. The testing process is cumbersome, in which multiple methods are available to refineries.

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards Winners

Hydrocarbon Processing, the downstream processing sector’s leading technical publication, has announced the winners for its third annual awards. The HP Awards celebrate innovative technologies and people that have been instrumental in improving facility operations over the past year.

Business Trends: One downstream—Strategic imperatives for the evolving refining and chemical sectors

Dickson, D., Slaughter, A., Deloitte Services; Mittal, A., Deloitte Services LP

Downstream executives will remember the present decade as a golden age for the industry, driven by low feedstock prices and healthy end-use demand.